First I want to say that I’m not saying this applies to everyone. I know there are plenty of people who get tattoos and peircings without needing the pain to overcome some emotional difficulty but I do believe that some people use it as a version of self-harm.
I got my ear pierced again last night. I have 7 rings in one ear, one in the other and an eyebrow ring. I’ve had my tongue pierced, my nipple pierced, the upper cartridge on my empty ear pierced. I believe I had 14 or so at one point. The piercing I got last night goes right through the center of my ear and wraps around the outside. For the knowledgeable it’s called a conch. It is quite painful and I got a rush, like a high when the needle was pushed through. I had that piercing before so there was scar tissue to go through too, adding to the pain level. It felt better then any cutting I’ve ever done.
I know that some people feel faint from that rush you get from that instant moment of pain. I felt exhilarated, I can’t think of a better argument that it’s a version of self harm for me. I’ve already gone online to get ideas for the Koi tattoo I want.
I know articles have been written about it and I’ll find some links to add here later.